The Bay area’s Ice King – Kafani – is speaking out against gun violence in the wake of the recent Newton, Conn., school massacre that left 28 children and adults dead. The rapper known for hits such as “Knock `Em Down” and his current single “Swag Swerve” will be live and unplugged on the nationally syndicated “Street Soldiers Radio Program” from 8 to 10 p.m. Pacific time on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. He’s been invited on to discuss how gun violence is affecting the urban community and how it also affected him personally.
In November 2011, a Kafani music video was being shot in a West Oakland liquor store parking lot when over 50 gunshots were fired into a crowd of people on the set. Eight persons were hit, including the one-year-old son of Kafani’s cousin Hiram Lawrence.
It’s an area that covers less than 5 percent of the city in space but accounts for 90 percent of the city’s shootings and homicides. The baby slipped into a coma and died eleven days later.
Some believe the shooting was retaliation over a beef between Kafani and rapper Lil B, but there’s been no evidence to confirm the assertion.
“I hate this whole thing happened to my cousin’s son,” says Kafani in a news release. “He didn’t deserve that. He was a happy, energetic kid. I don’t glorify violence in my music. It’s about living life – not taking it. We as a country need to do something to change the violent culture in the inner city. I was raised in the hood, and I came from the struggle. I was in the streets and made my way to college, although I didn’t finish. Unfortunately, I landed in prison for robbery; from Penn State to the pen.”
However, upon his release, Kafani turned his life around and has built a successful career and business off of his rapping skills. Street Soldiers has been on the air since 1991. The weekly radio call-in show is sponsored by the Omega Boys Club and focuses on the issues of violence, gangs, drugs, teen pregnancy and other topics related to inner-city youth. The host of Street Soldiers is Dr. Joseph Marshall, executive director of the Omega Boys Club. The program was syndicated in 1997 and is heard in 12 radio markets with a weekly listening audience of 300,000. Listeners can listen live each week online at www.iheartradio.com. For the 411 on The Ice King, go to www.kafani.com or follow him on Twitter.